New York is suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency after the massive environmental cleanup project on the Hudson River earlier this year was declared finished. Governor Andrew Cuomo says state reviews of the river say otherwise.
"We say the cleanup is not completed. There are still PCBs in the river and the federal government is essentially letting GE off the hook," Cuomo said.
General Electric was found to have discharged PCBs into the river and in 2002 was ordered to remove the chemical from muck in the river. A dredging project began in 2009 and was completed in 2015. Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos says the a state review found the cleanup project did not go far enough.
"The river is still very dirty, fish are still dirty in the river, you can't eat them, you won't be able to do that for up to 70 years," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
Seggos said the federal government's own determinations were not conclusive enough when it comes to the environmental health of the river.
"They said they cannot determine if the cleanup has been protective and they will not know for decades. So people will be eating contaminated fish for decades under the existing cleanup," Seggos said.
The lawsuit was cheered by environmental groups, including President of Scenic Hudson Ned Sullivan, who hopes the court will order a more expansive cleanup of the river.
"The courts should say EPA erred, it exceeded its federal authority and it should not have given GE a certificate of completion when the goals of the cleanup clearly have not been met," Sllivan said.
An EPA spokeswoman declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit.